Tuesday, November 3, 2009
States May Still Call the Shots Here is the opening graph of a Washington Post piece that ran on November 1st: "The debate over whether to let states opt out of any government-run health insurance plan overlooks a key facet of the health-care measures being assembled in Congress: When Washington is done, the shape of any new health-care system is likely to be finalized in Lansing and Boise and Baton Rouge." The full Post story is here. Will states be up to the challenge? Indianapolis may be an example of what local initiative can accomplish. Emergency responders in the Indiana capitol city now have wireless access to medical records. According to the publication, Federal Computer Week, "The goal is to help the medics provide more effective emergency care to patients by having real-time access to a digital record of the patients’ pre-existing medical conditions, previous treatments, allergies, current medications and other information." Like almost all big changes in American public policy, much of the detail and implementation in health care and insurance reform- regardless of the overheated rhetoric out of Washington, D.C. - will take place under the eyes of part-time, citizen legislators. Depending upon your point of view, that could be a very good thing or not. We will find out, piece by piece, state by state.